When my Boresight magazine arrives, I’m always excited to tear open the envelope and read. I usually get through at least half the magazine standing in the spot where I open my mail.
When the Nov/Dec 2015 issue arrived, I was… Frustrated. Right there on the cover the top story was “Lady modeling comes to Bulgaria”.
“Lady modeling”, you say? Is that some sort of special sub-genre that focuses on female figure painting? Is that a style of airbrush technique that a group of women have perfected? Is that a group name acronym…Lazy Articulated Dioramas of Yesteryear?
Basically, it was an article that took a talented modeler, prioritized her gender, then said “LOOK! There’s a female in this hobby after all!!”. For those keeping score at home, this is flat out sexism and it make us all look like the mostly homogenous group we happen to be. And it’s frustrating as hell. The fact that we see a woman in our hobby and immediately seize on her gender rather than her skill and promote her as some sort of oddity reflects poorly on our hobby and each of us as individuals participating in it.
A while back, I ranted about how it was frustrating that I had to try to explain to my young daughter what scantily clad women and historical scale modeling had to do with each other, thanks to Mig and the Weathering Magazine.
If you’re still not following why this is sexism, let me dig deeper:
A woman shows up to a mainly male meeting/club/hobby/show/site/everything and is met with inherent separation, institutionalize by showing women as objects in context rather than particpants (whether through Weathering Magazine style pinup photography, or “hey look at the oddity” style Boresight articles), you’re creating a two camps. You’re not welcoming a talented modeler or interested newbie into the single “team”, you’re making sure the females know they’re different and separate.
Why did the Boresight editors feel that they needed to create a “hey it’s a female!” Article? Why not just call out a talented modeler?
(Additional note: After I posted the rant post I mentioned earlier, I had a number of women reach out directly and thanks me and/or support my position. This is real, folks. And just because you personally don’t experience it or understand it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.)